This project is located at Dongfeng Road, Guangzhou — the historic centre of economics and politics. It is only 1km from the central north–south axis of the city (Yuexiu Park — Sun Yat-sen — Memorial Hall — Guangzhou Municipal Government — People’s Park), which remains the most important area that bears the city image and historical context of Guangzhou.
▼由东风中路望项目视角，a perspective from Dongfeng Road ©文耀影像
In order to optimise the image of the Times Property Centre building, the team’s ambition was to intergrate the site space into the old city, build upon the urban context, and provide a positive public space for the densely and crowded location. In response to these different goals, we adopted the following strategies:
1. Less is More: simplify and give the site a contemporary urban aesthetic;
2. Blurring the boundary: open the boundary and give the front field space a public use;
3. Context Development: Use traditional building design techniques to continue the context of the city.
▼改造前后对比，contrast before and after renovation
Less is more
1. 移除繁复的模纹花坛，以简洁的黑色镜面椭形溢水池、灵动流线的喷泉、寓意新生的蛋形雕塑取而代之。华裔艺术家Lindy Lee定制艺术雕塑《星生·新生》，表达了对于天地生命的感悟，代表了非凡美妙的诞生，并展望着未来美好的成长，同时也隐喻自然生命周期的递进与新生。
The Times Property Centre was completed in 1999, decorated with typical 1990s style. Prior to the renovation, the state of the site was disorganised and outdated. Based on the separation of pedestrian and vehicle, the design team aimed to make the aesthetic align with the function. The strategy was to simplify the landscape of the site, as follows:
1.Replace the original central planter with water feature, which is consist of a minimalistic fountain and a egg-shaped modern sculpture created by ethnic Chinese artist Lindy Lee. The sculpture, named THE EGG GIVES BIRTH TO AN EPOCH, suggests that even with a small thing like an egg; something superb, momentous and far-reaching can grow. The egg also symbolises the cyclical nature of time, birth and new life.
2.Integrate eight individual small tree planters into one, in order to reconstruct and extend the original fragmented space. As the top elevation of the underground garage was higher than the sidewalk, the tree planter was also used to even out the elevations, while separating the plaza from the sidewalk.
3.Replace the original decorative pavement patterns with only two colours to clearly divide the pedestrian, vehicle and the plaza spaces. The tone of the architecture, interior and exterior spaces are highly unified. The aesthetics is simple yet powerful.
Blurring the boundary
The historical city is densely covered by narrow streets and alleys, public space is undoubtedly an important medium of diverse activities; however, the demand for public space and shortage available to the public seems to be irreconcilable. Therefore, through this project, the design team aimed to find a solution, which not only made the Times Property Centre plaza a landmark in the area, but also gives the space a meaningful purpose for the public.
▼时代地产中心前广场， Times Property Center plaza ©文耀影像
▼从市政人行道看前广场，a view from the sidewalk ©文耀影像
▼总部大楼广场与树池，the plaza and the tree planters ©文耀影像
▼树池坐凳与椭圆水景形成的流线型空间，fluid space formed by the tree planters and the water features ©文耀影像
▼融合企业LOGO的指南针铺装，Times China compass embedded in the pavement ©文耀影像
Blurring the boundary: Through using two semi-enclosed tree planters, which clearly defines the sidewalk and plaza, it allows citizens to walk or stop freely within. The enclosed space provides a sense of security. The seats, which are set up facing the art sculpture, become the most frequently used space of the plaza. People are encouraged to find their own use of the space. Citizens will purposefully walk into the plaza: to take pictures, interact with the fountain, wait for friends under the awning, or have a conversation. It is the same place, revigorated with a new experience, which makes Times Property Centre also become a landmark in itself.
▼树池坐凳与椭圆水景形成的流线型空间，the fluid space formed by the tree planters and the water features ©文耀影像
▼溢水水池与《星生·新生》雕塑铭牌结合，喷泉开启时，场地自然吸附人群，the water feature and the sculpture nameplate, people are naturally drawn to the site ©文耀影像
▼儿童在水池边和座椅上玩耍，children play around the tree planters and water features ©文耀影像
▼《星生·新生》雕塑肌理，the sculpture texture ©文耀影像
▼《星生·新生》雕塑肌理，内置灯光2700K，the sculpture with 2700K built-in lighting ©文耀影像
The project lies adjacent to the Lingnan historic district (including Haoxian Road and Yuehua Road). The architectural design team incorporated the local history into the concept for the main entrance, also providing a roof top and shading for people. In the renovation of the building’s facade, the design team removed the slabs from the first to fifth floor, which were replaced with large frameless floor-to-ceiling glass panels. The activities within become a scenery of the city. The design is aligned with the modern minimalistic office aesthetic.
the Lingnan-arcade-style renovation of pillars ©文耀影像
a view from the 2nd floor of Times Property Centre ©文耀影像
▼大楼内部与城市的对话，Times Property Centre and the urban surrounding ©文耀影像
▼夜景，night view ©文耀影像
▼椭圆水景细节构造，the structure of the water feature
▼流线树池石材构造细节构造，the structure of the tree planter
Project name: Guangzhou Times Property Center Renovation
Design: Times China Design Center
Design year: 2018
Leader designer & Team: Xiang Jie, Huang Zhengzheng, Luo Wu, Cai Yueqiu, Huang Song, Lai Chuankang, Luo Tian, Mo Kangyu, Mou Qinghong, Wang Yongtuan, Zhang Jun, Pei Li
Project location: Guangzhou,China
Landscape area: 3500m²
Photo credits: WYAP-studio, Fan Wenyao
Sculpture Design: UAP
Interior Design: C&C Design
Landscape Construction: Guangzhou Rongcui Landscape Engineering Co., Ltd. Li Haoguan, Zhu Weizhuo, Jiang Xiang
Clients: Times China
2.Glass–Guangzhou Yiyouming Glass
3.Aluminum plate–Guangzhou HORNET STEEL ART Co,Ltd.